I know its not the end of the season and there is much football left to be played (matter of fact the Eagles still have a very good shot at the playoffs in our God awful division), but I'm going to go ahead and do this post just for fun and just to get some minds racing about what could possibly on the horizon. I'm a thinker so while I hope for the best from the Eagles, I think ahead anyways. Needless to say, with the way the team has been performing, how can you not be thinking ahead?
So we finish the season 7-9 and that's not good enoough. Lurie says it's time to clean house. Entire coaching staff is let loose and changes need to be made.
HC: Hue Jackson
I may be in the minority, but I always thought that Hue Jackson shouldn't have been fired. The only mistake I can honestly say he made was giving up two 1st rounders for Carson Palmer. People may remember him for getting the Raiders off to a 7-4 start then finishing 8-8 to miss the playoffs, but I looked deeper into that and found reason to give him the benefit of the doubt. For one, he was a first year coach. 8-8 is better than most rookie coaches do to start even if he faultered. Second, the offense under his reign was actually very good. The offense ranked 9th in the NFL with 379.5 yards/game with a modest 22.5 ppg to match it. They ranked in the top 7 in rushing offense, and in the top 11 in passing offense with Carson Palmer, Jason Campbell, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Denarius Moore, and Kevin Boss....? Yeah I consider that not bad on his part. So what was the problem? The defense was terrible. They ranked 29th in the NFL with 387.6 allowed yards/game and allowed 27.1 ppg. From what I remember reading, Chuck Bresnahan (the defensive coordinator during that season) was not Jackson's hire. If so, with all that above, I think its enough reason to give him another shot.
OC: Joe Lombardi
The grandson of the great Vince Lombardi, I don't necessarily know why he doesn't get much mention as a possible coordinator candidate. Since becoming QB coach of the Saints in 2009 to now, Drew Brees has completed 69.9% of his passes, amassed 14,484 yards, completed 113 TD passes, and accumulated a 103.2 passer rating. In 2009, Drew Brees set at that time a career high in completion percentage with 70.6%. In 2011, Drew Brees had a historic season setting NFL records in completion percentage (71.23%), most completions in a season (468), most passing yards in a single season (5,476), most games with 300+ yards passing (13), most completions in a playoff game (40), most passing yards in a regulation postseason games (466), and most seasons with 5,000+ yards passing (09 & 11). Also, Brees currently has ongoing records such as most consecutive 4,000 passing yard seasons (06-11 tied with Manning), most consecutive games with 300 yards passing (9 from 11-12), and most recently, the most consecutive games with at least 1 TD pass (50, which began in 09).
Now granted, I went on more about Brees here than I did about Lombardi himself, but these are all records were set or began when Lombardi took over as QB coach. I don't think there is much else to say other than I think he's qualified. Especially if we'll be giving him a young QB in Foles or one we draft.
DC: Thomas "Pepper" Johnson
Me and a former patron on this site both liked the idea of Johnson possibly coaching on the Eagles. Currently entering his 13th coaching year, Johnson is said to be a favorite amoung the Patriot players. He began his career in coaching in 2000 when he was hired as an assistant LB coach. In 2001-2003, he was switched to ILB coach and oversaw a unit that saw a unit that improved over prior years. From 2004-11, he oversaw the defensive line during a time where Ty Warren and more notably Vince Wilfork emerged as a few of the better DTs in the AFC. Richard Seymour also continued to thrive under Johnson and saw some of his more consistent years during that time. Most importantly, however, about Johnson is because of his long tenure, he's seen both 4-3, 3-4, and 4-4 looks in his time and taught this players how to adjust to those playing styles.
While Johnson isn't necessarily my first choice, he's the only one who I think could keep the 4-3 going for us or make the transition to a 3-4 earlier. My other candidates were Mike Pettine, Rex Ryan, and Rivera, but I'm not sure Rivera will be fired and Ryan and Pettine are strictly 3-4 and I don't believe we have the appropriate players to run that scheme.
Michael Vick: This one, I think, is a given. Michael Vick in no way, shape, or form has lived up to the massive contract he signed in the pre-2011 offseason. I personally wasn't a fan of the contract when it was first introduced, but I'm not the guy who signed him. Needless to say though, Vick has been less than worth it. He is scheduled to make $17.9 million next year. There is no way he sees that money. Best of luck to you Vick, hope you find success again.
Dead Money: $7.2 million
Jason Babin: Babin has gone back to the bust he was prior to the last 2 years. When he's not producing sacks, he's a liability. When he's a liability, he's not worth the money. Why he hasn't been fully benched yet for Graham is beyond me. But I find it hard to believe they are gonna pay $4.425 million for a 32 year old (33 next season) under performer when we've got Curry and Graham waiting in the wings. Let's see what those guys can do already.
Dead Money: $600,000
Cullen Jenkins: This one isn't as much of a shock anymore. Quite frankly, all of the vets on the line have begun to show age--Jenkins is in that group. He turned out to be one of the few voices on defense last year and while he has tried to this year too, his bark has been louder than his bite. At $5.5 million next year and going onto age 32, he can be replaced either thru this deep DT draft, or by trade, or FA.
Dead Money: $0
Demetress Bell: Talk about an egregious signing. At $9 a year he hasn't even been able to beat out King Dunlap and his only good play so far was inadvertently tripping Antrel Rolle on what would have been a sack. This was as bad a signing as any Reid's ever made. I think it's worse than the Stacy Andrews signing personally because he was signed for much more and expected to immediately start. Then again, Stacy was too, but he was coming off surgery. Well that was money well spent.
Dead Money: $0
Clay Harbor: This is nothing really against Harbor. I mean he hasn't been bad necessarily, just.....he hasn't been anything. With 30 catches in 32 games, I think it's safe to say he's not going anywhere. More or less, he's just taking up a roster spot. He's not a bad blocker, but he is replaceble. He hasn't really helped to remedy out red zone woes so, yeah. Peace.
Dead Money: $113,250
Nnamdi Asomugha: Some of us love him, some of us hate him. Some of us like what he brings, some of us ridicule his every mistake. One thing I think we can agree on is, he's not worth the $9.6 million he's going to make next year. However, him and DRC form quite the combo and while he hasn't been the lockdown player we were expecting to get, he still has been a very good corner if you ask me. I would like to keep him around for another season or two and therefore would be up to it if he agreed to restructure his contract. Maybe down to something like $6-7.5 million a year. I don't think that's too bad since DeAngelo Hall is standing to make 7.5 next year and Nnamdi is better than Hall. Plus, I'm not ready for the Hughes and Marsh revolution to necessarily start yet. Also, I've looked at some of the FA corners as well. Not exactly an intriguing bunch.
Akeem Jordan and Colt Anderson: Both are solid special teams players as we've seen the impact of when they are there and when they aren't. One or two year contracts with modest salaries to keep our special team aces around isn't too bad.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: I don't know why this hasn't been done yet. Whiie DRC didn't exactly have the best showing against the Falcons, he's still far and away the best corner on this team and has played like it. He's only 26 and has many good years still left in him. Seriously FO, quit dragging ass on this.
DRC = 5 year/ 40-45 million
Henry Melton, DT, Chicago Bears: With Jenkins gone, Patterson getting older and having the AV malformation put a clock on his career, the young Cox starting to grow (HA!), and virtual newbies on the outside in Graham and Curry (hopefully), we'll need a little bit more season on the line. Melton may be hard to pry away from the Bears, but he'd be well worth it. With a total of 12 sacks from the DT spot in the last 18 games and only just turning 26 years old, I think he would be well worth it. Him and Cox could form quite a duo.
Henry Melton = 5 year/ 25 million
*Danny Watkins to Jacksonsville for a 5th rounder Needless to say, Watkins has been terrible this year. I think it obviously has to do with the loss of Kelce, but if Kelce can make Watkins look that good, maybe he can do the same with Kelly next year. However, Watkins is still young (sort of) and may have some value on a modest contract for a guard. The Jaguars line is bad. Eben Britton has just been benched for and his replacement hasn't faired much better. It may take a helluva sales job, but it would be worth it. Maybe we can convince them Watkins just wasn't in the right scheme.
*Trent Cole to Detroit Lions for 4th rounder This one is tough, Cole is one of my favorite Eagles, however, this is a business and Cole hasn't been producing along with the rest of the line. He just hit age 30 and is still a complete DE who can play the run maybe better than he can rush the passer. Just with our young guns waiting in the wings, he's become expendable. And at only $5.35 million next year, I don't think it's impossible to move him. The Lions need help with maybe losing Avirl and Vanden Bosch being our Babin. Cole should adjust quick there since they run essentially the same DL scheme as us if not eerily similar.
**NOTE: No, Jeremy Maclin isn't on this list. As I've said in post after post, I'm willing to give Maclin a chance in a new offense. Reid (for some odd reason) has turned Maclin into a downfield recevier only. Maclin made his draft stock at Mizzou running screen after screen and converting short yardage passes into long TDs by breaking away from defenses with his speed and elusiveness. With Reid, everything has been 15 yards down the field or bust. If he can't revert to the form I think he can, trade him during the season.
Also, Dwayne Bowe isn't on this list. Listen, I like Bowe, just not for this team. Yes, he is a big bodied guy we've been drooling over, but, word is he is really lethargic and doesn't put in effort into his game. Granted, he's in KC, but there have been questions about his work ethic and conditioning year after year. Plus, he's looking to cash in heavily this offseason and if this last offseason is any indication of how much WRs stand to make in the market....no thanks Bowe. You aren't that amazing.
1st Round: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
With the way the O-Line has played this year, this shouldn't be too much of a surprise. I'm assuming we finish around the 12-17 range so he should be available. With the departure of Watkins, we slide Herremans into the the RG spot and put a true tackle out there. Lewan has looked like the second coming of Jake Long out there sometimes. However, I do have some issue with his technique and the way he doesn't always come fluidly out of his stance. I think those are fixable issues though and right now I have him second only to Luke Joeckel who I think we won't be able to get since he'll be in the top 10.
2nd Round: Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma
Coleman sucks. Yes, I will say it again. Coleman sucks! I know people love those gritty players who play balls to the wall and show passion, but when you are bad, it's really all for naught. Yes, Coleman plays hard out there and is one of the better tacklers in that secondary, maybe on the team, but he's also a reason many of those tackles need to happen. He bites on PA after PA. Even at the most obvious times. He misses his assignments, he constantly lets receivers get behind him, and he is very technically unsound. Forget the screaming, grittiness, and blah, blah. He can be replaced.
I don't understand how Jefferson hasn't been higher on draft boards. In my opinion he's the best safety in the class. Maybe because he's smaller than the likes of Rambo and Vaccaro, but I think he's better than both. He's been a playmaker since he stepped on the field for the Sooners. He's accumalated tackles, tackles for a loss, sacks, forced fumbles, and interceptions. This year he has sharpened up his form a bit more. His only issue maybe he's undersized at 200 (it says 212 but I doubt it), but there's little I haven't seen him do.
3rd Round: Mike Glennon, QB, NC State
While Nick Foles may be the favorite going into next year, let's give him some competition. This is a pretty talented draft across the board and finding a talented QB this deep shouldn't be too hard. My pick this far down the draft is Mike Glennon. Glennon is essentially a less California looking Nick Foles. 6-6 232 lbs. While he still has a lot of mental growing to do, he possesses the necessary tools. He is big armed, however, he has pretty good short and intermediate accuracy. His ball placement has improved from last year to this year. If you watch him throw the ball, its pretty beautiful. His motion is very fluid and the ball comes out with a lot of zip. The ball gets to where he throws in an instant. He is not without flaw, of course. My biggest issue with him has been his decision making. Last year in 13 games he threw 12 INTs, in 9 games this year he's already thrown 12 INTs. Now I won't completely blame him because 2 of them have come on drops or deflections (his receivers dropped 7 passes alone against UNC), but he still has made some bad decisions with some of his passes and has a tendency to not show up very well in big games (Tennessee and not till the end of the FSU game). Other issues include his tendency to throw high where instead of throwing worm burners, he throws bird bullets. Also, with him being at a stout 6-6, you can imagine he has the mobility of a of a semi with 9 blown tires. Part of his struggles maybe he's averaging 42 passes per game this year. That's a big much for any kind of offense that's not an Air Raid or spread. He is an intriguing prospect and if he lasts this far, I think he definitely worth a shot for the quality of a 3rd rounder.
4th Round: Michael Mauti, LB, Penn State
You wouldn't expect me to go through a draft without naming a LB would you? Kendricks hasn't been bad, but I do think he looks a bit out of place at SAM. He is good in coverage, but has had an issue shredding blocks and sifting through the piles. I think he may be better suited at WILL. I think he has a good future in front of him, but I haven't seen that it yet. Michael Mauti won my respect with the way he backed up his leadership talk in wake of the Penn State scandal. He has came out and played stellar and has fully embraced the role of leader of the team. In true Penn State LB form, he isn't all that athletic, but finds away to get it done. I think he would be a fine SAM to fill out our LB unit and maybe when Meco moves on he could slide into the middle. Plus, the guy has a jaw line like a Justice League hero. +1
4th Round: Joseph Fauria, TE, UCLA
This is Clay Harbor's replacement right here. I keep waiting for Fauria to break out, however, it just never happens. He's athletic and big, but just can't seem to put it together. At 6-7 255, you think he would play big, but he plays like he's 6-2 sometimes. He isn't a sharp route runner, and could stand to improve as a blocker. So why should we draft him here? One thing about him stands out above all to me--8. That's the number of TDs he has this year. 6 of those have come in the redzone (more specifically inside the 10 yard line). If Fauria never does become a great TE, he should at least provide a much needed scoring threat inside the redzone (something we can never seem to find or fix). 8 TDs is more than any of our receivers and TEs have caught since 2010 (Maclin had 10 that year).
5th Round: Devin Taylor, DE, South Carolina
This is more or less a depth pick, but I think it could be a value pick too. Taylor is a physical freak, but can't seem to finally blow up. With Jadaveon Clowney playing on the opposite side of him, he faces a lot of one-on-ones, but hasn't taken advantage of them this year. His stock has plummeted, but if we are able to get him here and manifest on the potential he showed during his sophomore and junior years (2 years: 21.5 TFL, 13.5 sacks, 2 INTs for TDs) then we will have a helluva DE rotation on our hands.
5th Round: Cobi Hamilton, WR, Arkansas
This is maybe Avant's replacement here (or maybe even Maclin). Hamilton is in the midst of a breakout season during his senior year. His has good speed, and is adept with taking on contact when he makes the catch. He lacks body control though and too many times makes body catches instead of catching with his hands. He is an average route runner, but not much of a threat after the catch. Can seem like he gets tackled by the wind sometimes. Has good size at 6-3 209, but needs to add some bulk to his frame so he can play to his size.
6th Round: Brad Wing, P, LSU
The Henry-Henery combo was short lived and McBriar hasn't show me why it was worth it to release Henry and let him step in. Brad Wing isn't having near the season he was in 2011, but I don't believe that talent just disappears. Wing was arguable the best punter in the country last year dropping 20 of LSUs punts inside of the 20 yard line and may have been the only reason LSU won that first game against Alabama in 2011. He hasn't shown that same touch this year, but for as low as a 6th rounder, I think he's worth a gamble to see if he can return to that Ray Guy Award form he showed in 2011.
7th Round: Quincy McDuffie,RB/WR/KR, UCF
One of the more underrated mistakes I think that Reid made that was the release of Quintin Demps. Yes, Demps vacuumed as a safety, however, he was the best KR we had had in the Reid era if you ask me. In the 2008 game against the Ravens, he returned a kick 100 yards to score the only TD we had that game. If I remember correctly, that was the 1st and only KR touchdown ever scored in the Reid era. In 2008, thanks to Demps, we had an average KR of 23.5 yards which was the highest since the 2002 season when we averaged 24.9 per return. Since then, we've yet to average more than 20.9 yards per return and only 1 KR since then has gone over 46 yards and we still haven't found a legit threat back there to return kicks as we've cycled in and out modern day versions of Reno Mahe's to fill that void. We thought we may have had it in Hobbs, but his injury derailed that plan (hope he's recovered well).
McDuffie brings in quite the resume as a KR. He's accumulated 6 TDs so far in 4 seasons (including 3 this year) and has a chance to increase that number. I haven't necessarily given up on Damaris Johnson. He still has a season to mature, but a little competition isn't a bad thing. McDuffie doesn't seem to have great start up speed, but his running style allows him to reach high end speeds when he gets on a move. The only knock on McDuffie is like Johnson, he is of slight frame (5-10, 178 lbs). While the KR position is diminishing because of moving the ball up to the 35 and the abundant amount of touchbacks, it still doesn't hurt to try to find someone who can find a way to set the offense up in good field position or provide a spark for a team.
This offseason is subject to much, much change given where we pick and if we win out possibly. This is all hypothetical scenario except I do like the prospects and would like this draft. This is the offseason how I envisioned it if worst comes to worst.